A novice’s guide to getting started with VideoScribe 

Philippa Reed & Patrycja Nykiefrom Compassion in World Farming shares their top tips for getting to grips with creating video for learning.

VideoScribe is very simply laid out, and starts from the premise that the user is an animation novice.”

When did you start using VideoScribe?

We purchased VideoScribe with a view to using it for our on-boarding/induction programme, but when we were asked to present a case study to fellow members of the Charity Learning Consortium, we decided it would be perfect to use it within our presentation to help tell our eLearning story.

How easy was it to use?

Philippa: I’m the sort of person who will jump straight into a programme, experiment and discover through trial and error, rather than read instructions or manuals. I do come from an art & design background, and edit music and video in my spare time, so to be fair, I wasn’t daunted at learning such a programme. However, even if I hadn’t had this background, VideoScribe is very simply laid out, and starts from the premise that the user is an animation novice.

What has been the result?

We’ve had a really positive response to our first foray into animating our charity story. I think people take to it because it’s colourful, fun, and gets information across in a really memorable, impactful way. This has given us the confidence to use VideoScribe as an integral part of our on-boarding programme for new starters, as well as for our internal HR training videos, and more. There’s so much scope!

Philippa & Patrycja’s top tips for using VideoScribe

1. Play first. Don’t try and create a finished product the first time you use the programme – it’s like learning to paint: just take the blank canvas and do some throwaway ‘sketches’ at first whilst you get used to the programme

2. Think about your voiceover before you start. If you are including a voiceover in your animation, storyboard from a written script first. Once you have the written (voiceover) script, use the animation tools to illustrate the key points of your script. I recorded the voiceover after I created the animation, and I rehearsed the timing of the voiceover to match exactly. This is where the transition editing tools are very important, so you can tweak the movement of the visuals to match the audio exactly. Make sure you use a decent external microphone to record any voiceovers, rehearse beforehand, and balance any background music using the volume controls.

3. It’s not like PowerPoint. Don’t forget the screen runs like a movie reel or scroll of canvas, rather than a slideshow. The action moves across the screen, so add your elements to the screen as you would if it were a ‘moving painting’

4. Do some fact finding. Explore the various libraries thoroughly at the beginning, including all the amazing music clips

5. Have fun! This will really come across in your video 


Our first VideoScribe: This video formed part of a recent CIWF case study presentation

Philippa Reed has worked in the charity sector for nearly 10 years, having previously enjoyed a career as a music journalist in London. Philippa joined CIWF in 2014, and is an Administration Assistant in the HR, Operations and Facilities Department. She enjoys bringing her creative skills to a variety of projects within the HR team, including learning & development and on-boarding. Outside of work, Philippa is a singer-songwriter with Reed Maxfield.

Patrycja Nykiel joined Compassion in World Farming in September 2016 as HR Manager. She has worked for more than 15 years as an HR and legal professional in various non-for-profit, private and public organisations in London. Her expertise lies predominantly in law but her passion for people and learning and development has enabled her to develop a CIWF global training programme that is bespoke to the charities’ needs. She’s passionate about animal welfare and is the proud owner of two beautiful cats: Daphne and Saffron.

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